Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Big Ten Tournament 2017

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Big Ten Tournament 2017

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 21st, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Thursday, March 17, 2017

Michigan 1, Penn State 4

1st period

Folkes Goal

UM 0 PSU 1 PPG 10:50 Assists: Biro & Autio

Folkes passes to Biro, who takes the pass and skates behind the net. Cecconi, who’s currently in the slot, makes a smart move: he checks for anyone cutting in backside before turning to pick up the skater behind the net.

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As Biro emerges on Cecconi’s side of the net, he finds himself close to having the puck knocked away. Meanwhile, Folkes sees Biro in trouble and skates behind the net to get into position for a pass back. That’s when things really go sideways for Michigan. Biro slams on the brakes and spins back; Folkes continues skating and slips past Cecconi, turning so that his logo is facing the goaltender and ready for a quick wrister should the puck come out.

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It does. Biro backhands a perfect pass to Folkes, who just has to snap it on net. Nagelvoort is thinking that Biro is going to try to wrap it around on the other side, and even though De Jong is there he comes off the post a bit. That opens up enough space for Folkes to bury it. The play’s pretty much doomed the minute Cecconi overplays Biro and doesn’t come away with the puck. Even so, give Penn State credit for executing a really impressive switch, pass, and shot. This is far from Michigan’s worst defensive breakdown of the season and PSU made the goal look effortless.

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[After THE JUMP: It’s a tournament, so the bounces were going to be weird. Also, some thoughts on Red’s future.]

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State, Part Two

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State, Part Two

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 14th, 2017 at 9:58 AM


All you have to do to eke a smile out of him is pitch a 46-shot shutout and stay four years it’s really not that hard [James Coller]

Friday, March 10, 2017

Michigan 3, #11 Penn State 2

1st period

Myllari Goal

UM 0 PSU 1 EV 19:59 Assists: Sucese & Biro

Lockwood carries the puck into the offensive zone with 15 seconds to go in the period and I distinctly remember looking at the clock and thinking that the period was as good as done. Something in the darker, loathing, confrontational part of my brain perked up at this sunny optimism and immediately reminded me that you’d think so but, like, this season…

Stupid accurate darker, loathing, confrontational part of my brain.

Sucese gets the puck deep and shoots from a bad angle, and with no one in front of the net to deflect it the puck goes through the slot and hits the boards on the opposite side of the rink.

mich psu fri 1-1

Myllari sees the puck bounce off the boards, does a nice job reading the angle of the bounce, and gets himself all wound up for a one-timer. It’s worth noting that Lavigne sees where the puck is headed and gets across the crease in time to do something; at this point he’s still standing.

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Sanchez gets in position to block the shot, sliding out of the way just as the puck passes him. Proof positive that luck plays a bigger part in hockey than most of us would like to admit. It seems like Lavigne had a hard time tracking the flight of the puck as Sanchez passed in front of him. Otherwise he would have eschewed the butterfly in favor of standing, as you don’t have to worry about a rebound off the chest protector when the puck’s released with one second left.

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[After THE JUMP: more weird goals, Nagelvoort’s unreal, bork bork bork]

Michigan 72, Penn State 69

Michigan 72, Penn State 69

Submitted by Ace on January 4th, 2017 at 11:36 PM

Walton's play in transition late sparked M's comeback. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

It wasn't impressive, or encouraging, or—at least for the first 30 minutes or so—fun, but Michigan pulled their proverbial asses out of the fire with a strong finish against Penn State, closing the game with a 30-15 run to erase a 14-point deficit and steal much-needed conference win.

"Their seniors made plays at the end," said PSU coach Pat Chambers.

"They got the stops when they needed," he added. "That's what senior-led teams do."

"Our seniors, who were not on their 'A' game, were nothing short of spectacular in the last four minutes," John Beilein concurred.

You, Michigan fan, may have cocked an eyebrow at those statements. For tonight, at least, they held true. While they struggled for most of the game, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton both came up big down the stretch. Walton nailed a three to pull Michigan within one, then fed DJ Wilson on a fast break for the go-ahead alley-oop. When PSU's Lamar Stevens grabbed the lead back with a jumper, Irvin answered with his pet midrange shot. Walton extended the lead at the free-throw line, Irvin drilled a tough stepback shot, and the two combined to ice the game at the line, going 6/6 in the waning moments to fend off PSU's comeback effort.

The game proved frustrating at times for both coaches. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

The Wolverines didn't open the game nearly as well as they closed it, of course. This was a boring slog for a half-hour of game time. Penn State got into the paint time and again, while Michigan couldn't do the same or hit their outside shots, going 1-for-9 from three-point range in the first half.

"They drove us wherever they wanted to in the first half," said John Beilein. "And we let them."

The second stanza began much the same way; PSU's first two buckets came in the paint before three straight triples extended the lead to 14. The turning point, according to Beilein, came during an emotional huddle at the under-12 media timeout.

"I didn't have to say anything," Beilein said. "It was all, the circle that I was in, they were all extremely charged up and upset at each other. And I'm not meaning pointing fingers [at each other], they were very encouraging, and very strong words that, no, we're not losing this game. We're not starting off in the league 0 and 2. We're going to make this happen."

Duncan Robinson entered the game shortly after that timeout and proceeded to account for a five-point run of his own with two shots to cut the deficit to eight. The Wolverines steadily chipped away at the lead from there, benefiting from some PSU turnovers to get out in transition for easy points. Then the seniors closed it out.

The season can take two forms from here. Michigan can carry the emotion from that huddle over to the rest of the Big Ten schedule and fight their way into the tournament, or they can play the listless brand of basketball we saw for much of this game and settle for an NIT bid. Only time will tell.

Hoops Preview: Penn State

Hoops Preview: Penn State

Submitted by Ace on January 4th, 2017 at 2:07 PM


WHAT #33 Michigan (10-4, 0-1 B1G) vs
#96 Penn State (9-6, 1-1)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 8:36 pm ET, Wednesday
LINE Michigan -9 (KenPom)
PBP: Cory Provus
Analyst: Shon Morris

Right: Michigan swept the series with PSU last year, including a 23-point blowout at Crisler. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]


While there hasn't been any change to the starting lineup, Duncan Robinson's role continues to expand. Since getting only seven minutes against Marquette and 16 in each of the subsequent two games, Robinson has played 20+ minutes in seven of M's last nine games, including a season-high 36 in the Iowa game. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, meanwhile, played only eight minutes against the Hawkeyes after seeing the floor for at least 20 minutes in every game since the opener. John Beilein may very well continue to use Robinson as a super sub but he's playing the role of a starter again.

Beilein, by the way, has the chance to tally his 200th win at Michigan tonight. He'd be the second M coach to do so, following the legendary Johnny Orr (209).


Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 10 Tony Carr Fr. 6'3, 198 79 22 96 No
Fits FR PG profile: TO rate nearly as high as assists, good 3P%, bad 2P%.
G 33 Shep Garner Jr. 6'2, 187 80 21 100 No
Secondary ballhandler and 3-point gunner. 35% on 106(!) 3PA.
G 23 Josh Reaves So. 6'4, 210 44 19 98 Yes
Slasher/defender is 11th nationally in steal rate. Struggling with outside shot.
F 11 Lamar Stevens Fr. 6'7, 218 65 23 108 Very
Only 48% on all two-pointers, but gets to line a lot, makes 88% of FTs.
C 24 Mike Watkins R-Fr. 6'9, 246 58 21 106 Very
Excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. 55% from field, gets to line often.
F 0 Payton Banks Jr. 6'6, 223 64 20 109 Not At All
Even more extreme gunner than Garner: 41% on 102 3PA in fewer minutes.
G 5 Terrence Samuel Jr. 6'3, 208 45 15 102 Kinda
High FT rate is salvaging efficiency; only 43.1 eFG%.
C 44 Julian Moore Jr. 6'10, 235 35 15 75 Very
Shooting 40% from field with a 30% TO rate. Woof.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]

2016-17 B1G Basketball Preview: Penn St.

2016-17 B1G Basketball Preview: Penn St.

Submitted by Alex Cook on November 9th, 2016 at 12:00 PM

shep garner

Shep Garner [Greg Bartram – USA Today]

PREVIOUSLY: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio St.

Back in the 2010-2011 season, Penn State was forced to vacate its basketball facilities to accommodate preparation for a Jon Bon Jovi concert, and then a career fair – they had to practice at a rec sports facility commonly used by the volleyball team. This was part of the stretch run for a senior-laden team led by Talor Battle, which snuck into the NCAA Tournament after winning a few games in the Big Ten Tournament (the infamous 36-33 victory over Wisconsin during that tournament might have been the win to get them in). After the season was over, long-time head coach Ed DeChellis stepped down from the job to coach at… Navy.

Perhaps nothing better encapsulates the Sisyphean nature of Penn State basketball than those few months, a program routinely plays in near-empty arenas despite having the athletic department to accommodate a gargantuan football program. I mentioned this in the Nebraska preview, but Penn State’s unique challenges might be the most difficult in the Big Ten (beyond Northwestern’s, of course).

Pat Chambers took over for DeChellis and it seems like the boilerplate compliments given to Chambers teams are that they play hard and give a ton of effort. Typically, those types of comments are reserved for teams with decided talent disadvantages and the record has borne that out for Chambers in Happy Valley as the Nittany Lions have gone a combined 23-67 in Big Ten play since he took over. Needless to say, there was no momentum after that surprise tournament bid back in the spring of 2011 and the program has predictably struggled.

It will probably be more of the same for Penn State this year. They lost senior Brandon Taylor, a high-volume iso scoring forward who usually played the four, and adjusting to his absence will be a challenge. Chambers’s familiarity with the Philadelphia recruiting scene paid off in a big way, as he was able to sign a trio of players from Roman Catholic High School, two of whom were Top 100 prospects nationally. Even if the talent level has risen some, Penn State’s best players will be young and escaping from the bottom half of the Big Ten will be difficult.

[More on the Nittany Lions after the JUMP]